By Jane Nambi
Dr Silvestre Onzivua has been suspended by Mulago National Referral Hospital after illegally trying to fly out of the country with the remains of the deceased Butaleja Woman MP, Cerinah Nebanda to carry out an independent search on what really killed her.
Dr. Onzivua was arrested and charged over his involvement in the Nebanda’s death investigation. The hospital’s executive director, Dr Biteraba Byarugaba, suspended him from service pending the conclusion of the criminal case against him.
However, Dr Onzivua, who is a toxicological pathologist is yet to receive a letter to that effect. “I have not yet seen the letter, but the hospital director has informed me that the rules stipulate that when a civil servant has a criminal case, he should be interdicted,” Dr Onzivua said. He was interdicted and according to the Public Service standing orders, interdiction is temporary removal of a public officer from exercising his or her duties while an investigation into alleged misconduct is being carried out. An interdiction on a criminal case that involves the police and courts stands for six months.
At the moment, Dr Onzivua is out on bail following his arrest at the Entebbe International Airport after being reportedly hired by Parliament. He was charged in Buganda Road Magistrate’s Court with conspiracy to commit a felony. Seven doctors who handled the postmortem had agreed to have two sets of toxicological analyses carried out to determine the inflammable substance identified during the initial examination.
The second sample in Dr Onzivua’s possession was confiscated during his arrest. Government claims that the pathologist and the MPs had no authority to take samples from the body.
The official autopsy report that the government says was done in the United Kingdom revealed traces of alcohol and narcotics in the 24-year-old MP’s body. However, her fellow MPs claim her death was suspicious, attributing it to possible poisoning.